Friday, February 28, 2014

Prayer

"May He give us all the courage that we need to go the way He shepherds us. That when He calls, we may go unfrightened. If He bids us come to Him across the waters, that unfrightened we may go. And if He bids us climb the hill may we not notice that it is a hill, mindful only of the happiness of His company. He made us for Himself, that we should travel with Him and see Him at last in His unveiled beauty in the Abiding City where He is Light and Happiness and Endless Home."
~Bede Jarrett

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fight on...

"We must go to the end of our strength before we complain."
~St. Therese of Lisieux

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Those Two...

“He does not always remain bent over the
pages; he often leans back and closes
his eyes over a line he has been reading
again, and its meaning spreads through
his blood.”

“She followed slowly, taking a long time,
As though there were some obstacles in the way;
And yet: as though, once it was overcome,
She would be beyond all walking, and would fly.”

~Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Path in the Woods

...I still want to remain faithful
to my first astonishments
to recognize as wisdom the child’s wonder
and to carry in myself until the end a path
in the woods of my childhood
dappled with patches of sunlight
to search for it everywhere
in museums in the shades of churches
this path on which I ran unaware
a six-year old...

~Excerpt from A Path in the Woods by Anna Kamienska

Monday, February 24, 2014

One Horizon


(Photo by Remo Savisaar)

“Look at the horizon, Felix”, I said, pointing southward over the water. “Can you see it?”
“No, the day is very fair, but the haze obscures the arc of the planet.”
“Exactly. Yet it is there. Why do you think we are looking for it, now, at this very moment?”
“The sight is a beauty to behold. It consoles and beckons.”
“Yes, but there is more: Does not man look up into the infinite because he knows in the heart of his soul that this is not our permanent home? That he is more than he thinks he is?”
“I suppose you’re right. Yes, we know this instinctively—if know is the correct word. We are not bio-mechanisms. We are not clever, talking animals.”
“The Kingdom of Heaven is within us, though it is not yet realized in its fullness. The Kingdom is beyond us too, and it is for the eternal union that we long.”
“The horizon shows us the way, you mean.”
“The infinite horizon and the horizon within you are one horizon.”

~From a novel by Michael O’Brien
 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Job 38:4-7

Where were you when I established the earth?
    Speak, if you are capable of judging!
Who has determined its measure, if you know it,
    Or who has stretched the measuring line over it?
Upon what are the bases of its pillars founded,
    Or who has laid its corner-stone,
When the morning stars sang together
    And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Power and Presence

“The joyous man is the strong man—ready to sympathize: to appreciate: to help: a comfort and a light to others. Into a world where there is a surplus of sadness, of despondency and of despair, he brings something of the power and presence of God that in turn warm and cheer the hearts of men. Joy is the power and presence of God—the interior sense that we live in Him.”
~John Burke

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Identity of a Person

“If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for. Between these two answers you can determine the identity of any person. The better answer he has, the more of a person he is.”
~Thomas Merton

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Error

“A small error in the beginning of something is a great one at the end.”
~St. Thomas Aquinas

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Learning

...If I knew enough it would all be gradual,
every departure, every arrival,
small radius, in, out, returning,
like the needle’s eye always learning.
       But it is late, it is always late.

Worlds can swerve while I stammer;
the stars come different at night and nearer.
I can’t learn even how to enter
what awaits me every year.

       And it is late, I know it.

~William Stafford

Monday, February 17, 2014

O Eternal Truth, Love, and Beauty

“Urged to reflect upon myself, I entered under Your guidance the innermost places of my being; but only because You had become my helper was I able to do so. I entered, then, and with the vision of my spirit, such as it was, I saw the incommutable light far above my spiritual ken and transcending my mind: not this common light which every carnal eye can see, nor any light of the same order; but greater, as though this common light were shining much more powerfully, far more brightly, and so extensively as to fill the universe. The light I saw was not the common light at all, but something different, utterly different, from all those things. Nor was it higher than my mind in the sense that oil floats on water or the sky is above the earth; it was exalted because this very light made me, and I was below it because by it I was made. Anyone who knows truth knows this light.

O eternal Truth, true Love, and beloved Eternity, You are my God, and for You I sigh day and night. As I first began to know You, You lifted me up and showed me that, while that which I might see exists indeed, I was not yet capable of seeing it. Your rays beamed intensely on me, beating back my feeble gaze, and I trembled with love and dread. I knew myself to be far away from You in a region of unlikeness, and I seemed to hear Your voice from on high: ‘I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and you shall eat Me. You will not change Me into yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed into Me.’

Accordingly I looked for a way to gain the strength I needed to enjoy You, but I did not find it until I embraced the mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who is also God, supreme over all things and blessed for ever. He called out, proclaiming I am the Way and Truth and the Life, nor had I known Him as the food which, though I was not yet strong enough to eat it, He had mingled with our flesh, for the Word became flesh so that Your Wisdom, through whom You created all things, might become for us the milk adapted to our infancy.

Late have I loved You, Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved You!”
~St. Augustine

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sing Praise To God Who Reigns Above

Sing praise to God Who reigns above, the God of all creation,
The God of power, the God of love, the God of our salvation.
With healing balm my soul is filled and every faithless murmur stilled:
To God all praise and glory.

What God’s almighty power hath made His gracious mercy keepeth,
By morning glow or evening shade His watchful eye ne’er sleepeth;
Within the kingdom of His might, Lo! all is just and all is right:
To God all praise and glory.

Thus, all my toilsome way along, I sing aloud Thy praises,
That earth may hear the grateful song my voice unwearied raises.
Be joyful in the Lord, my heart, both soul and body bear your part:
To God all praise and glory.

Let all who name Christ’s holy Name give God all praise and glory;
Let all who own His power proclaim aloud the wondrous story!
Cast each false idol from its throne, for Christ is Lord, and Christ alone:
To God all praise and glory.

~Words: Jo­hann Schütz (trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Fran­ces Cox) & Music: Bohemian Breth­ren’s Kirch­en­ge­sänge

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Carry them out

“If you have a chest full of clothing, and leave it for a long time, the clothing will rot inside it. It is the same with the thoughts in our heart. If we do not carry them out by physical action, after a long while they will spoil and turn bad.”
~Abbot Pastor

Friday, February 14, 2014

Saint Valentine's Day

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another.”
“Love seeks one thing only: the good of the one loved. It leaves all the other secondary effects to take care of themselves. Love, therefore, is its own reward.”
~Thomas Merton

“We give too much of our hearts to little things, like image and control, that are not worth the pain. More important, we give too little of our hearts to big things, like loving God and our families, because we unconsciously fear the pain. In making this foolish calculation, we forget one thing: that love’s joy always outweighs love’s pain in the end; that no sane person has ever said on his deathbed: ‘I shouldn’t have loved so much. I shouldn’t have put out so much. I should have kept my heart in the freezer.’ Long before that, if there is love, then there is a joy even in the pain of making free, willing sacrifices and freely accepting the unwilled pains.”
~Peter Kreeft (re-post)

“When you become a daddy, the very best thing you can do for your kids is this: love mommy.
When you become a mommy, the very best thing you can do for your kids is this: love daddy...”
~Peter Kreeft (partial re-post)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Secularism

“...Secularism is, in its way, a religion to itself, and it is a religion that cannot tolerate infidels or heretics. ...this is by no means an accident, a mere byproduct of the passion and folly to which every human being succumbs from time to time. For secularism is, necessarily and inherently, a deeply irrational and immoral view of the world, and the more thoroughly it is assimilated by its adherents, the more thoroughly do they cut themselves off from the very possibility of rational and moral understanding. Moreover, and for this very reason, its adherents unavoidably find it difficult, indeed almost impossible, to perceive their true condition. The less they know, the less they know it.”
~Edward Feser

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

More than half the weight...

“From what does such contrariness arise in habitually angry people, but from a secret cause of too high an opinion of themselves so that it pierces their heart when they see any man esteem them less than they esteem themselves? An inflated estimation of ourselves is more than half the weight of our wrath.”
~St. Thomas More

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Some words of wisdom

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it -- and stop there -- lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again, and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more.
~Mark Twain

Monday, February 10, 2014

Far-Reaching Rivers of Life

“A river reaches places which its source never knows. And Jesus said that, if we have received His fullness, ‘rivers of living water’ will flow out of us, reaching in blessing even ‘to the end of the earth’ (Acts 1:8) regardless of how small the visible effects of our lives may appear to be...

A river is victoriously persistent, overcoming all barriers. For a while it goes steadily on its course, but then comes to an obstacle. And for a while it is blocked, yet it soon makes a pathway around the obstacle. Or a river will drop out of sight for miles, only later to emerge again even broader and greater than ever. Do you see God using the lives of others, but an obstacle has come into your life and you do not seem to be of any use to God? Then keep paying attention to the Source, and God will either take you around the obstacle or remove it. The river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles. Never focus your eyes on the obstacle or the difficulty. The obstacle will be a matter of total indifference to the river that will flow steadily through you if you will simply remember to stay focused on the Source. Never allow anything to come between you and Jesus Christ— not emotion nor experience— nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.

Think of the healing and far-reaching rivers developing and nourishing themselves in our souls! God has been opening up wonderful truths to our minds, and every point He has opened up is another indication of the wider power of the river that He will flow through us. If you believe in Jesus, you will find that God has developed and nourished in you mighty, rushing rivers of blessing for others.”
~Oswald Chambers

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Jesus, Lead the Way

Jesus, lead the way
Through our life’s long day,
When at times the way is cheerless,
Help us follow, calm and fearless;
Guide us by Your hand
To the promised land.

Jesus be our light,
In the midst of night,
Let not faithless fear o’er take us,
Let not faith and hope forsake us;
May we feel You near
As we worship here.

When in deepest grief,
Strengthen our belief.
When temptations come alluring,
Make us patient and enduring;
Lord we seek Your grace
In this holy place.

Jesus, still lead on
`Til our rest be won:
If You lead us through rough places,
Grant us Your redeeming graces.
When our course is o’er,
Open heaven’s door.

~Words: Nicholas von Zinzendorf & Music: Adam Drese

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Good point...

There is no need for the Christian to fear science. Aquinas, reasoned thus: God is the author of all truth; the aim of scientific research is the truth; therefore, there can be no fundamental incompatibility between the two. Provided we understand Christian doctrine properly and do our science well, we will find the truth.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Grand Show


"Sunrise on frosted window"
Picture used with permission by photographer Elsa Kettinger

The grand show is eternal.
It is always sunrise somewhere;
the dew is never dried all at once;
a shower is forever falling;
vapor is ever rising.
Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming,
on sea and continents and islands,
each in its turn,
as the round earth rolls.
~John Muir
 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Glimpse Between Buildings

Now that the moon is out of a job
it has an easy climb, these nights,
finds an empty farm where a family could live,
slides wide over the forest—all those
million still violins before they are
carved—and follows those paths only air
ever uses. I feel my breath follow
those aisles and stumble on the moon
deep in forest pools. . . .

~William Stafford

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sometimes I feel this way...

“Everywhere have I sought rest and found it not, except sitting apart in a nook with a little book.”
~Thomas à Kempis

Monday, February 3, 2014

Divine Life

“In God to live is to understand. In God intellect, the thing understood, and the act of understanding, are one and the same. Hence whatever is in God as understood is the very living or life of God. Now, wherefore, since all things that have been made by God are in Him as things understood, it follows that all things in Him are the divine life itself.

Creatures are said to be in God in a twofold sense. In one way, so far are they are held together and preserved by the divine power; even as we say that things that are in our power are in us. And creatures are thus said to be in God, even as they exist in their own natures. In this sense we must understand the words of the Apostle when he says, ‘In Him we live, move, and be’; since our being, living, and moving are themselves caused by God. In another sense things are said to be in God, as in Him who knows them, in which sense they are in God through their proper ideas, which in God are not distinct from the divine essence. Hence things as they are in God are the divine essence. And since the divine essence is life and not movement, it follows that things existing in God in this manner are not movement, but life.”
~St. Thomas Aquinas

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Hebrews 2:14-18

Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that He did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore He had to become like His brothers in every respect, so that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself was tested by what He suffered, He is able to help those who are being tested.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Questions

“...To spend one night in real pain is to discover depths of reality that are roped off while everything is going fine. Why me? Why now? Why this?

These are natural questions to ask when you are in pain, but they are just as relevant when you are in pleasure. Who deserves the way a warm bath feels on a cold night after a hard day’s work? Who has earned the smell of a loved one, embracing you on your first night back home? To hold a sleeping child in your arms can teach you more about the meaning of life than any ten books on the subject. To lie in the yard at night looking up at the stars can grant you entrance into divine mysteries that elude you inside the house.”
~Barbara Taylor